A family of OAMs

Michelle Challis has received an OAM for her service to the community. (Supplied)

By Jena Carr

Manifold Heights’ Michelle Challis is following in her parents’ footsteps as she is recognised for serving the community during the King’s Birthday.

The 48-year-old received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on Monday, June 10, for her work in groups including the Lions Club of Geelong.

Ms Challis said her family has an extensive background in volunteering and serving the community, with her mother and late father both previously OAMs for their efforts.

“It’s what I was brought up to do and I do it to help those that need help, that can’t help themselves or make someone’s life a little better,” she said.

“It’s always been part of my life. My parents had guided me through that, and I’ve just expanded on that to help where I can. That’s my reward.

“I joke saying (to senior Lions members), ‘I’ve been around Lions more than you have’, because I went to my first Lions meeting when I was six weeks old in a bassinet.”

Ms Challis said she was humbled to be acknowledged for her achievements, such as her work with the St John of God Geelong Hospital Auxiliary, which helped purchase a new patient transport vehicle for oncology patients.

“I gave up my time, and that will benefit someone, or lots of people, in the community, and that’s the achievement,” she said.

“It’s just being there when you can, and I love a good chat to be honest with you, but just if I can help someone have a better day, that’s a good day.”

Ms Challis has also helped give back to the Geelong and Ballarat community through roles in the Geelong Region Cancerians, the Barwon Health Foundation and the Ballarat Hebrew Congregation.

Other organisations include the Challis Group, the Institute of Mercantile Agents and the Lions District 201V2.